This thread is for discussion of this week's Serious Fun, which goes live Tuesday morning on magicthegathering.com.
Something my group did in college was to lend decks out and give players commons and uncommons with the occasional rare.
The pile of cards gave them more options and let them have fun going through the options for their deck. It also let more experienced players start teaching them card evaluation for building a deck.
Lending decks let the new players have access to something they wouldn't normally be able to play. For example, letting a new player borrow a deck built around an old mechanic gave them the opportunity to see cards they can't find in more stores. It also let new players experiment wtih different types of decks before investing in building them. For example, a deck around Greater Good and Kokusho, the Evening Star looks awesome, but if a player doesn't enjoy it- shelling out for the cards is a waste.
Face it, you're pretty much here as a meat shield.
If you are at Georgian Court Univeristy or Monmouth Univeristy PM me. If you are out by York College of PA, I can help you reach the group there.
Our group has been playing for about 10 years. Since we were in high school when we started, our collections were based on what we could buy and trade locally. Now that we all have jobs and I have a credit card, we've been buying most of our cards as singles online. But there was a problem: some people obviously had more money they wanted to spend on cards than others and so those people were more likely to obtain some of the more powerful cards. And man did we ever. It was not uncommon at one point for a deck to have four Necropotence, or Sol Ring, or Demonic Tutor, etc.
In an effort to reign things in so that more casual decks could still be competitive, we decided to begin enforcing some deck construction restrictions. Except for (I think) Ponder, any card that is restricted in Vintage, plus a few others of our choosing (Stoneforge Mystic, all zero-mana rocks, Lim-Dul's Vault, the artifact lands), is restricted to two copies per deck. Any other card can be a four-of. We don't outright ban cards (though the Power Nine is generally regarded as off-limits) except for EDH which we use just use their ban list for.
It's been a blast. Every once in a while, someone will get the first-turn Dark Ritual -> Necropotence or first-turn Sol Ring into whatever, but it's much less likely to happen now and makes for more interesting games. Also, everyone can still use their cards.
My EDH decks:
Sliver Overlord ()
My approach is to have a bunch of "beginner-friendly" decks on hand - actually, I should probably update them at some point - they're all 8th Edition...
Anyway, I have those decks handy so when it comes to teaching new players the game, I can break those out, get everyone to play with them so the power-levels are within shouting distance of each other, and only have to explain the evergreen mechanics.
Once people have the basics of play down, I move on to sealed deck - unlike draft, where a poor decision early can cripple your deck, all the decisions in a sealed build are reversible, and you can always, always rebuild your deck from your pool. It's also more influenced by luck in what you open than drafting is, which can be a new player's only route to victory...
Oh, and is there some reason this thread claims to be for last week's article?